Coriander also referred to as cilantro or Chinese parsley is a herb which grows annually. All the parts of this plant are edible and are used extensively for culinary and medicinal purposes.
In India, this plant is commonly referred to as dhania and the whole plant including its leaves shoots and dried seeds are made use of.
Its Botanical name is Coriandrum Sativum and it belongs to the Botanical order of Apiales and the Botanical family of Apiaceae.
Coriander derives its name from the Latin word coriandrum which in turn finds its origins in the Greek term kopic koris that translates into a bed bug owing to its foul odor that resembles that similar to a bed bug.
It is also interesting to know that about half a liter of coriander mericarps were discovered within the tomb of the famous Egyptian King Tutenkhamun, thus showing the importance of coriander even during the ancient times.
Presently, coriander is grown almost all over the world including areas of America, Europe and South East Asia.
Uses of Coriander Text
Coriander has many benefits and uses.
Its leaves are extremely rich in a variety of minerals as well as vitamins which include thiamine, vitamin C and vitamin B, namely riboflavin.
Amongst the minerals, it has a rich quantity of phosphorus, calcium, iron, sodium, oxalic acid and potassium.
Coriander also has rich stores of water, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
It has a small calorific value and thus is not extremely heavy on the body and can be easily digested,
Folk medicine has long used coriander for psychiatric disorders and mental issues especially to obtain relief in cases of anxiety and insomnia.
Coriander also has a diuretic property which has been made use of by the Indian traditional system of medicine and Ayurveda since the ancient times. In order to obtain the same effect, an equal amount of coriander seeds and cumin seeds is boiled in water which is then cooled, strained and consumed.
The plant is also known to help aid digestion and is used as a carminative agent.
Fresh coriander leaves contain a rich amount of vitamin A, Vitamin C and anti oxidants as well as phosphorus which are extremely beneficial for complaints of the eye especially macular degeneration, aging of the eye, conjunctivitis and help soothe the eye when stressed. The leaves are crushed and the juice is strained whose drops are put into the eyes to obtain relief.
Coriander also helps in treating certain inflammatory conditions such as conjunctivitis and iritis.
Coriander also helps in cases of epistaxis or nose bleed as it is known for its anti inflammatory properties and also helps improve and activate the clotting mechanism of the blood.
It also has an affinity for skin and skin disorders and helps treat the same. Coriander leaves have anti septic, anti fungal, detoxifying and dis disinfectant properties and the same are extremely helpful in treating skin disorders. It is just widely used locally in case of insect bites, dermatitis, rashes and hives.
Pregnant women have reported that nausea and vomits are controlled when they consume coriander, thus showing its benefit in treating the same and being helpful in cases of hyperemesis gravidarum.
The extract of coriander contains citronelol which is known for its anti septic properties. Additionally the other components also contain anti bacterial and anti fungal properties and are thus helpful in cases of diseases related to the mouth such as ulcers and bleeding gums.
Coriander also helps refresh the breath and thus finds use in cases of halitosis
Coriander leaves also contain generous amounts of fatty acids, namely oleic acid, lin oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid and are thus known to act on the cholesterol levels on the blood and bring down the same.
It thus prevents the deposition of cholesterol on the arterial walls thereby preventing arteriosclerosis and reducing the risk of cardiac related issues especially myocardial infarct and neurological stroke.
There is a beneficial action on the digestive tract as it helps in improving the secretion of digestive and enzymatic juices of the stomach thereby improving the overall ability of the stomach to break down and digest food.
Thus we see how coriander has its own medicinal benefits and how the same can be made use of for not only cooking but for also for its other beneficial purposes.